Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home Dorm Room

So I have spending time imagining how to make one room comfortable for Andrew and Evan to share. I have a plan though it is under revision.

There are two bedrooms in the basement. In terms of square footage the two rooms are really about the same size. The one Andrew is currently in is long and thin. The other is square -- and has a legal egress window. We know we have to have second exit in the from of an egress window or second door in the basement in order to have a foster child down there. We are pretty confident that that second exit cannot be in another person's bedroom. This means that if we another foster child comes along they will have to have the square room, which in turn means that I have to figure out how to fix the long and narrow room to be comfortable for Andrew and Evan.

In case you are wondering, putting Brian downstairs in the long and narrow room would be a perfect answer except except that whither Brian goes so goes the Shih Tzu and we have the dogs trained not to go into the basement. It is cat-land. There are cat holes cut into the walls. There is even a catwalk that runs from the cat door in the window of the laundry room, into the rec room, through a hole into Andrew's room, ending with a ramp to his dresser.

So is the most awkward bedroom in the house that I need for Andrew and Evan to share.

When I first started talking to Roland about my ideas he said that he didn't mind doing the work I proposed, but he really wasn't feeling ready to take another kid. When he thinks about it he still clenches up inside. I told him that I thought that what was going to make the difference for us would be the kid, not the time. He of course was not quite convinced so I said, "What if they called us today and said there was a genuinely trans girl at the teen shelter being bullied and teased." Without hesitation he said, "We would go get her."

Okay then. We both agreed that we would prefer for them not to call for months, but that yes, if there was a kid who really needed us, who was the sort of kid we can help, we would do it. That said, he agrees that it makes sense to be ready.

So here is the plan. Roland has agreed to build two low loft beds. (The ceiling is too low for regular loft beds). There is 34"of space under these beds. In consultation with the boys, I will buy a collection of storage units on wheels, some with drawers and some with shelves. They can either have one shelf unit and one drawer unit facing out with empty space for whatever in the back, or they can have more storage units going in sideways so they can pull them out as they need access. All their books, clothes that don't get hung up, and generally everthing they own will have to be stored under these beds. It won't be beautiful, but it will be functional.

Though I think we will set them up in the square room at first, where there is be enough space for two computer tables, they will have to move into the other room if and when we get another kid. We can get two of those beds in, but given the location of the doors, etc. there won't be much more space than that. One kid will be able to have a computer work station in the room itself, but the other one will have to be set up inside the closet. Fortunately it is a large closet. It might even be 8 feet. The left side would still be closet space, with one bar high and one low. In the middle is a tower of cubicles. The 40" to the right of the tower would become another computer station.

Not the most elegant of spaces, but acceptable for young people coming home for vacations and summers.

Roland got more excited about it when I explained that when Brian leaves in 4 years he can use the home dorm room for vacations and we can turn his room into an office. I know you all might not be all that interested in my plans for furnishing bedrooms, but the real point is that this is the first time that Roland has confessed that there are circumstances that would make him want to do care again. That makes me happy.

Oh...and when I told Brian the other day that we were called about David's brother and I said no he sighed and said, "Good. We're not ready for another kid yet. We're still recuperating."

And I thought, "Brian said 'yet'!"


  1. I'm always trying to figure out new ways to make the most out of the space we have and yet cram as many as possible!

    We have an unfinished basement with egress windows and when that magic day comes that we can finish off a room or two I'll be ecstatic.

    I love seeing other people's ideas for rooms, as it helps me "see" my ideas come to life.

  2. You can make a cheap fabric curtain to staple/tack/hang across the bottom of the loft beds (hides stuff you don't want to look at, and the kid can choose the fabric they want)


  3. I never had any doubts. Roland's loving heart just melted mine. What a lovely trait, the outstretched hand in answer to need. You picked a good one dear. My Bald Man has built beds for the kids at the need has arisen, I like things organized, so I would be very happy with the plans.


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